On one hand this is sad and quite difficult to write as it is the last blog from the Gathered Together Team, on the other I just want to celebrate and tell the world how proud I am with all we have achieved over the last 3 years.
The impact of the project has reached much further than any of us imagined at the beginning and the team rose to the challenge of collating information, researching need, and collecting case studies and good practice from across Scotland to support all our findings. At the same time we were developing training programmes and workshops to upskill and share with our partners, be they educators, local authority staff, community groups and of course, EM parents themselves.
We have been able to input real evidence to Scottish Parliament committees and working groups on poverty and employment issues, the development of new strategies in several areas of parental engagement and a whole host of initiatives including education, heritage languages, developing the young workforce, bullying and racial prejudice.
Our legacy will live on in the form of briefing papers, good practice guides and training toolkits (see our publications page) and video snapshots which are all available to anyone who wants to look on our website. We have also made our database of questionnaires and findings available through various websites. This means any students who want to do research of their own can trawl through and use it to inform their own work knowing it will be recent and relevant to the Scottish experience.
The whole BEMIS team and management board have been supportive and inclusive and SPTC were kind enough to nominate us for a European ALCIUN award in 2015 which we were delighted to win.
We also had an amazing steering group who have been a great support helping us identify and target our time to great effect.
Other partners have also been extremely helpful and just too numerous to mention here but you can find reference to them scattered through all our work. We wanted to make sure everything we learned was shared across every sector and we couldn’t have done it without you. You know who you are so a big thank you to everyone we have worked with in any way at all.
My thanks go to Marion, Richard, Judy and Richa for bringing so much of themselves to the project and working together to create something which did make a difference.
And finally… well there is no finally. The GT staff team may well be off to work elsewhere, pursue other academic interests or travel the world in Richa’s case, but BEMIS are already planning further work to build on the legacy the team are leaving behind.